Keter Artisan shed review: Contemporary flair and top quality build
Why I chose prefab resin garden shed kit over a wooden shed
The search for a stylish, well-priced garden shed kit for our Woodland garden sent me down many paths, but it all came to an abrupt end when I stumbled across Keter’s Artisan contemporary design.
So what makes the Keter Artisan shed a great product? The shed is available in different sizes, but we went with the largest 11X7-foot design with double door entry and a series of small windows across the front and down the sides to let in plenty of light during daylight hours. Its sophisticated and stylish look allows it to fit into any garden style. It’s easy to build yourself, offers double-door entry and is a quality, steel reinforced product that can stand up to tough Canadian winters.
We also added a Keter High-Store Shed on one side of the Artisan shed for additional storage (seen in the photo above on the right side). Together, the two stylish sheds blend together and have a sophisticated appearance with their beautifully weathered cedar-look finish in that highly sought after silvery grey colour. They combine to give the appearance of one large shed with a bump-out not unlike those you may see on a mobile home or trailer. The amount of storage these two sheds provide is astonishing.
You can also add the matching impressive Keter Denali box for extra storage. It has the same grey weathered cedar look to match the other products.
So why did I choose a prefab contemporary vinyl shed over a more traditional wooden one?
The answer to that question is difficult. In short, however, the Keter shed provided extremely high quality at a reasonable price with a sophisticated look that really would have been difficult to match in a wood product. The silvery-grey finish would have taken years to occur naturally, if ever.
An unstained wood shed in the dampness of a woodland garden would most likely have taken on a dark grey mold rather than the silvery look of sun-bleached cedar. At the very best, a wooden shed would need regular maintenance including regular cleaning and staining to keep that natural silvery-grey look.
In addition, the texture and quality of the exterior hard-wearing durable resin makes it difficult to distinguish whether the siding is actually a wood product or vinyl/resin. In many ways, the vinyl siding looks and feels more like rough cut cedar than the real thing.
In fact, nothing really comes close to the look and feel of Keter’s innovative DUOTECH siding that offers a real wood texture with the durability and all-weather resistance of resin. It’s also easy to clean, requires zero maintenance and is fade free. But more on that later.
Five reasons I chose a resin shed
Contemporary design with a sophisticated look that works well in our Woodland garden.
Maintenance-free exterior and interior with easy-to-clean washable Duotech panels.
Steel reinforced framing for durability and a roof that can handle heavy snow loads.
Easy assembly with basic tools making it a DIY job if you are up to a little hard work.
Plenty of storage space, and because of the design, lots of headroom. The floor panels are an added bonus that keeps everything clean and dry.
To be fair, I must have looked at hundreds of wooden shed designs prior to purchasing the Keter shed. My plan was certainly to eventually buy a wooden shed and have the company construct it for me either on a deck or concrete slab. They were all well-built and quite nice. Most had a rustic look to them and all involved some kind of construction either by myself or by a crew who would come in and put up the shed in a day or two.
The real nice ones were a little expensive for my taste and the ones I felt I could afford were, quite frankly, kind of boring and predictable.
While a rustic shed in a woodland setting seems totally appropriate, I could not help but be drawn to the more contemporary sheds that I often came across while looking at pictures on Pinterest and other sources. Their simplicity was attractive to my aesthetic and I knew I could landscape around it to make it fit in to the woodland experience.
I was also interested in creating the feeling of a separate garden room where I could view the woodland from a different perspective than it is usually viewed from. Part of that involved incorporating three large, black water bowls into the landscape design in front of the shed and I knew the three water bowls would create a contemporary feel to the design not completely in keeping with the rustic aesthetic of the wooden sheds I had seen.
And then I came across the Keter Artisan shed. Instantly, I liked the look. The silvery-grey colour reminded me of the elegant and sophisticated wooden structures I had seen years earlier during vacations to Canada’s western provinces, especially Vancouver and the Victoria area. I knew it would work perfectly with the water bowls and other design features I had planned for the area.
I had already purchased other Keter products and was impressed with how easily they went together and how sturdy they were once completed. Think, the highest quality Ikea products, but for the garden.
We were so impressed with their products that we eventually added two black Keter raised planters on the left side and two Keter planters on each side of the double doors. (See photo at bottom of article.)
The Keter Artisan shed was large, much easier to construct than wood products, and the double doors made it easy enough to pack away many substantial garden products from lawn mowers to BBQs if necessary.
My plan was always to save money and build the shed on my own. We ordered both sheds, but because the Artisan model was on back order, we received the High Store shed weeks earlier. I was impressed with it from the beginning. It went together quickly and easily in an afternoon and the Duotech finish was exquisite.
Then came the big boy. It came in several large boxes on a couple of skids in a large truck. It even needed to be unloaded with a fork lift. It was around that time that I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. I didn’t expect it to be so large and heavy.
The first task was to create a platform for the shed. My plan was to use a base of screening to level off the uneven ground in an area of the garden. It was more difficult than expected for an old guy lacking the skills necessary to get the job done in a timely manner without having a heart attack. In the end, I hired a local handyman to help with the construction of the both the base and the shed.
In just one full exhausting day we were able to build the platform, spread the screenings and have the shed 90 per cent built. All that was left for me to finish on day two was the construction and installation of the two front doors.
We are now preparing for the second full summer with the two sheds, and I could not be happier with the results.
They have performed admirably all year. There have been no problems and the sheds continue to look as good as new.
What makes the Keter Artisan so special?
Let’s take a quick look at why this shed has proven to be a winner.
The Keter web site lists only two sizes the 7X7-foot and the 9X7-foot, but the larger one still appears to be available. It is certainly still listed on Amazon.com.
The shed’s positives attributes begin with the contemporary architectural design that makes the sheds stand out from the crowd. The silver-grey Duotech walls were the selling point for me. But the steel-reinforced double-wall construction and an extra-strong roof that can withstand serious snow loads ranging from up to 200-150 Kg/sqm is an important selling factor – especially in Canada where snow is a guarantee.
In case you were wondering, it also features heavy-duty floor panels that keep out critters and protects the interior from a muddy floor and rainwater seeping in from underneath. The easy access double doors, clear windows and a lock on the door for added security are just additional bonuses.
The Duotech walls are as elegant on the interior of the shed as they are on the exterior. But if the silver-grey colour does not appeal to you, the interior and exterior walls are paintable any funky colour your heart desires.
The paintability of the walls make the Artisan sheds perfect for the creation of a she/he shed complete with funky interior wall colours.
The walls are also drillable, (although I would recommend using the special wall hangars provided by Keter) making hanging anything from pictures on the wall to tool organizers a simple task.
I could go on singing the praises of Keter but one more key factor that is always important are warranties. Keter advertise that their sheds come with warranties from 5 years to lifetime guarantees.
In fear of sounding like a commercial, we have purchased several Keter garden products before and after buying the two sheds. All the products, from the raised planters (earlier post I wrote about them), the large container planters that now flank the doors of the Artisan shed, a large deck box and two small balcony boxes, have proven themselves time and time again.
A potter’s table to match
One final Keter product that I can recommend wholeheartedly is the Utility XL Entertainment Storage Unit. Keter describes the Unity XL Entertainment Storage Unit as an all-in-one solution. It’s made out of a strong, weather-resistant resin with an appealing wood-like texture and has a durable steel top for cooking, serving and other hosting duties.
That might all be true, but gardeners might want to know that this storage unit is actually an ideal little potter’s table with its stainless steel top and under-cabinet storage. Right now it lives inside the shed (see above photo) but because it’s on wheels, it can be easily wheeled out whenever there is a need.